Doctor Vs Architect

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This blog features a chat between a professional Tanzanian Doctor based in Tanzania and a British Chartered Architect based in Tanzania. Both discussed the differences between a Doctor or Architect or Doctor Vs Architect.


Below are the ten questions given to them both to answer.

1. What inspired you to become a Doctor / Architect?
2. What are some of the unique challenges you face in your profession?
3. How much does an architect and doctor get paid? 
4. How long to be a doctor? How long to be an architect? 
5. What advice would you give to inspiring doctors or architects
6. Can you describe the role of technology in modern architecture or medicine and how has it impacted clients or patients?
7. How does sustainable design affect your role at work? And what impact does it have on the communities?
8. How do you stay up to date with all the advancements and trends in the fields?
9. So does your field require creativity and how do you balance between creativity and practicality?
10. How does collaboration with other professionals contribute to the success of your work?



1. What inspired you to become a Doctor / Architect?

Dr. Mzangy: Well, since my childhood, I had a desire to become a doctor. I saw my family members and relatives getting sick, and when we went to the hospital, I observed doctors working there. None of my family members were doctors, so becoming the first doctor in my family was a significant achievement for me. I wanted to help people, especially those who were ill. It was inspiring to see how medication prescribed by a doctor could improve a patient’s condition. I found joy in the idea of making a positive impact on people’s lives through medicine.

Dr. Mzangy: That’s interesting. And what motivated you to become an architect?

Architect Russell: It started when I was in school. My design teacher recognized my talent for design, and I was always good at drawing. I particularly enjoyed technical drawing, which not many other students liked. I had to make a choice between continuing with art and design or design technology. Ultimately, I chose design technology and dropped art. During a holiday trip to New York with my parents, I saw some impressive buildings that inspired me to start drawing buildings myself. It wasn’t a lifelong dream; rather, it was a decision I made because I wasn’t sure what else to choose. Over the years, as I studied and got more inspired, my passion for architecture grew. Teachers and visits to various buildings played a part in this gradual process of becoming an architect.

Dr. Mzangy: It sounds like talent played a role in your journey. Do you think being an architect requires innate talent, or can anyone become one through education and hard work?

Architect Russell: Personally, I believe hard work is what leads to talent. It’s not always something that comes naturally. Being creative is essential for an architect, but we can discuss that further later. You don’t necessarily have to be good at drawing to be an architect. While having some talent certainly helps, if you’re not proficient in a particular area, like drawing, you can work on improving those skills.

Dr. Mzangy: That’s an interesting perspective. Just like in the medical field, where we have good and bad doctors, do you think being a bad architect is a result of lacking talent or passion?

Architect Russell:: It’s hard to say definitively whether it’s talent or passion that determines someone’s ability as an architect or a doctor. However, I do believe that passion is crucial. Even though architects require a license and a certain level of education, it doesn’t guarantee their skill or passion. Similarly, doctors who have met the educational threshold can still vary in their abilities. So, being at a certain level doesn’t necessarily make someone good or bad; it’s their passion and dedication that ultimately shape their competence.

Dr. Mzangy: But sometimes they can just neglect patients. They don’t care, you know, because they don’t have that passion. So that makes a bad doctor. And sometimes they can just prescribe medication without having that ethical background of that prescription. You know, Some of them they’ve started Doctor of Medicine and finished, but they don’t practice. They’ve gone to other issues. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Business and stuff. Yeah you get that with architects. So the passion should be there. Some architects, they’re more business-oriented. They’ll just be directors or they run the business. Well, yeah. So we have that. So that’s okay.

2. What are some of the unique challenges you face in your profession?

Architect Russell: I’ll start with this one now, huh? Striking the difference between creativity and practicality. Especially here in Tanzania, it’s very practical. You can’t go over this extreme. You’re not going to get Zaha Hadid or, uh, Frank Gehry designing in Dar es Salaam, that’s for sure. A lot of the designs I do are quite practical, really. You have to think; you don’t just draw a line and that’s it. You have to think about how that’s going to be built when you design it. You have to understand the practicality of building them in the area in the country. Where you are, that’s important. It’s easy enough to do a printed design, but generally understanding how it’s been built. So that’s the thing, balancing to make it look pretty and fantastic, but without blowing the budget and without the client screaming at you, “That’s too expensive.” But you have to make sure he likes it as well. Sometimes they just want something simple, so you’ve got to strike that balance.

I personally have a challenge with materials here. It’s a developing country, so yeah, procuring the materials is difficult, and constructability is different. Difficult here compared to developed countries. Okay. Say, a lot of materials are not available here, so you have to import them. Then that’s expensive and takes time, and you have to find the right materials in stock and all that stuff. Mm. Tears my head out that. So you might choose something, but it might not be available here. So you have to find a substitute. Communicating with other consultants, that’s challenging, and you have to communicate with a lot of people. Yeah. Make sure the design is coordinating. It has all the engineering components: plumbing, electrical, mechanical, structures, all of those things, interior sometimes, or landscape design. You’ve got to make sure it fits within your designs, and you have to coordinate with a lot of people. And then also keeping up to date with all the technology and stuff as well. So, um, yeah, trends and the latest things, latest technologies. I’m sure you have a question on that later. 

Dr. Msangy: So may I ask you, do you get a challenge? Like sometimes you have designed something and you have given that to the engineer because you have to design and then give some people to implement or to have design.

Russell: No, they’re just putting their components to the design. Like a structural engineer will put the columns, beams, the skeleton of the building. They won’t be interested in windows and stuff like that. So they’re making it so it stands up. But everything that you’ve designed should be exactly the same; they should put it physically. You gradually get the input, so you add in the bits to the design as it goes on, and that develops more and more.

Dr. Msangy: Okay. So yeah. Yes. So you may all change a bit with their input, but they don’t change the overall design. No. Should be the same. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. It might change after their input, but you kind of have to control that.

Architect Russell: What challenges do you face?

Dr Msangy:  Yeah, it’s a lot, a lot. A lot is. You have say we are working to developing country like Tanzania and Africa, So sometimes we are having this challenge of having limited resources. You may have a patient, you want this patient to have in investigation, maybe city scan or MRI and you find that this patient is very poor and some of them, they are not insured. We have the problem here in Africa, not everyone is insured with their health insurance.

So sometimes you you get to because you want to attend that patient. You want to know because as a doctor, I cannot just treat by just taking the history and physical examination. Sometimes I need baseline investigations. So sometimes I’m having facing a challenge to treat this patient because of financial issues. They don’t have enough money. Yes. There’s no money if if they can’t afford a scan, do they just not have the scan? And then. Yes. And how can I treat that patient? Because my duty, my number one duty is to save life, is to save lives. So if I don’t know the patient is sick, maybe is having a mass in the abdomen? Or how can I know that this is a mass, I don’t do biopsy? I don’t do MRI, CT scan. And that’s it. And they don’t take it? Yeah some of them, most of them, they die before we we get the diagnosis, the proper diagnosis. So that’s number one challenge. 


But speaking of poverty, it’s a broad from the patient perspective, but also from the hospital perspective, the health care, the patient care, because also we don’t have some facilities. some of the hospitals, they don’t have theaters, they don’t have ultrasound. So all that yeah, I went the one that didn’t have like a scanning machine, they don’t have this kind of machine. Was in another country. Yes. So that’s number one. 

Number two,: So in Africa, you know, it’s different from Europe and America. You know, the payment that we are getting as a doctor are actually very low, but we are working because we we have a passion. We keep on going. That’s number two. Number three, sometimes we work a lot. We have no time. And even sometimes for booze, we don’t have time. I always make time for booze, Dr. Msangy. For you guys, you see now. So sometimes there’s no time to to sit with friends, sometimes with the family, you know, being busy, working, you know, sometimes 24 hours, 48 hours. Keep on working, you know, saving lives. Actually, in Africa, in most African countries, the ratio of doctor to patient is very is very big. You know, one doctor can attend even 50 patients per day sometimes more than that. Wow. Yeah, a lot of patients. So it’s a good way that we can link and communicate among ourselves. Yeah, because here in doctors, we the doctors. Yeah. Because Yeah. Everybody is doing is thing, you know we don’t have that communication. We have organizations that we sometimes we meet but not much. So that’s another challenge. Yeah I think those are the main unique challenges that we’re facing here.


3. How much does an architect and doctor get paid? 


Architect Russell: You can go onto the RIBA website. They tell you a salary survey. You can see everything there. I’ll put it up here. So, the most you can get roughly in the UK is around £69,000. That’s very extreme. That’s like a director in London but that’s before tax. But after tax, you probably get 33% less than that. But it ranges. It can start from when you graduate, it can start from £20,000 or $20,000, then go all the way up to 15 to 20 years of pay registration experience. It can just keep going up. So you might get a low salary from the beginning when you become an architect, but over the years, it does get higher. There’s a lot of complaints, though, that architects don’t get paid much for how much they study. Architects complain about that, but I think it gets… they don’t realize that it does go up after you’ve got a lot of experience. Or if you’re not happy, you can move country like I did.

Dr. Msangy: So, doctors’ salaries. For medical doctors, particularly in Tanzania, that’s for doctors. You know, we have categories. Yeah, we have doctors who have the first degree, which we call GP or General Practitioners.

So, for this one, roughly, even in Africa, there’s a very big variation. If you go to countries like Botswana, even Kenya, they’re paying very well as compared to countries in Africa. South Africa. Oh, they have the biggest hospital in Africa. Big, big hospitals. So in our Tanzania, we are not complaining, but we are paying very low.

Yeah. So the range is between $560 per month. Oh, I need per year. $560 times 12 … What the f…? No way. $560 x 12?

Architect Russell: Yes. Oh, that’s only $6,000. What the hell? 

Dr. Msangy: Yes, man, can you imagine? And this person has been in class struggling, really having no time for booze. No, no, no time for a girlfriend. 

Architect Russell: I spend $6,000 on booze alone!

Dr. Msangy: Oh, my goodness. The other, you know, this is not a joke. We are talking this very seriously, and these people. 

Architect Russell: That’s disgusting, isn’t it? This was known in very divided countries, for it is a developing country. 

Dr. Msangy: But things should be changed. I want to tell you, my friend, this one is basically a gross salary before they take before tax. Oh my god. Oh, before the social Security fund and stuff. Oh, my God. And if God does bless, you have gone for your second degree, become a specialist. And then that one, you go up a little bit, up to maybe $1,600 USD per month. So you can calculate that one. How much? $20,000, roughly $20,000, nearly $20,000 USD a year.

Architect Russell: Yes, and then that’s roughly what I was getting in the UK when I did my first degree. So that one can go up to $2,500 USD, the range. 

Dr. Msangy: Well, in a developed country, do you know anything about that?

Architect Russell: Not much, but I think they are paid very well. Very good. I can ask Chat GPT. I’ll put England. Maybe in England, yeah. Ranges from £60,000 to £90,000 per year. Everyone knows, generally, a doctor earns more than an architect. It should be like that. Yeah, that’s how it goes.


4. How long to be a doctor? How long to be an architect? 


Dr Msangy: First of all, you have to have the basic education that is O-level and A-level.And then from university, five years, so do five years straight. 

Architect Russell: Five good years straight, no working, straight.?

Dr. Msangy: And then you should have one year working. Working as an intern doctor. Architect Russell: Okay. 

Dr. Msangy: And intern doctor for one year. So a total of six years. 

Architect Russell: And then you get to your exams?

Dr. Msangy: Exams, and then you, you know, first after five years, you have to do an exam before you join the internship program, okay. For one year.And then to do another exam to have temporary registration by their council. So you become a doctor, you start practicing for two years and then you become a full like permanent registrar. We call it registrar. 

Architect Russell: Oh yes.  Oh, so you get temporary and then permanent? I didn’t know that. 

Dr. Msangy: Six years to be temporary doctors, seven/eight years to be a permanent one. 

Architect Russell: That’s if you do it straight? That is, you get people who take longer? 

Dr. Msangy: Yes. Yeah.  If you have issues with the education, maybe at the school everything right?  Yeah. For me, I did straight. Yeah. 

Architect Russell: Good boy. I didn’t. 

Dr. Msangy: You didn’t?How long does it take to study to be an architect? 

Architect Russell: How many times have I said this?  Three years degree. Architect  Only three years?  Then work for at least one year.  Then study for another two years. Then work for another one year.  Then you can take exams and become licensed. 

Dr. Msangy: So, seven years. So for us, it’s six. So I think you’re going to study more. 

Architect Russell: You got temporary and permanent.  So yeah, ours is longer actually. 

Dr. Msangy: Yes. 

Architect Russell: So architect studies longer than a doctor. 

Dr. Msangy. Yes. 

Architect Russell: You see now. Not study longer. I mean the process is longer. Five years full-time study. Full-time. 

Dr. Msangy: Same for us. Five years. 

 Dr. Msangy: How why do you divide them? 

Architect Russell: The university, designing is a hell of a lot different than practical working.: Otherwise you get a big shock. 

Dr. Msangy: Yeah. This is reality. 

Architect Russell: Yeah, I can imagine. You’re designing donuts for five years and then you go, “What?”: No donuts. Okay. 

Dr. Msangy: But for us, if you want to become a specialist, you need to add three years of which we are going to choose. Dr. Msangy: If you want to be a physician, if you want to be an obstetrician and gynecologist, or if you want to be an orthopedic surgeon, if you want to be a general surgeon, you have to study again three years and another three years to specialize. Dr. Msangy: And if you want to be a super specialist, you have to go specifically to a certain thing. You have to go another two years. 

Architect Russell: Is that what you’re doing at the moment? 

Dr. Msangy: Yes, that’s what I’m doing. 

Architect Russell: So five years plus… When you can get the megabucks. Yeah, are you going to leave the country? To get megabucks. 

Dr. Msangy: No, no, no, no, no, no. That’s not the plan.

Architect Russell: I mean, be a doctor, another country. You get more money.  More money and money. Yeah. We’re looking for money. 

Dr. Msangy: But our first, our first motivation is to… To save life.

Dr. Msangy: And for you guys, if you want to become architects and have a master’s degree, is it possible? I have a masters.You have a masters?

Architect Russell: Yeah, includes masters.

Dr Msangyl: So how many years? It’s like three years.

Architect Russell: Masters was another one year.

Architect Russell: I got, like, throughout my studies, I got a B.A. (Hons) degree, I got a diploma, and I got a masters. So it’s like…

Dr. Msangy: Like to have three degrees all that… Three?

Architect Russell: Yeah, or two and a half. Two? Some architects, depending on what course they do, they don’t have a masters. But if you have a first degree and you have your masters, will that add value? For me, it’s just the registration in the last year.

Dr. Msangy: So registration doesn’t really care what degree you got, as long as you got the license at the end of it.


5. What advice would you give to inspiring doctors or architects?


Dr. Msangy: Three things I would tell over ten years of experience being a doctor.

Architect Russell: That’s impressive.

Dr. Msangy: I have never gone to Europe or America, but in Africa, I know what’s really going on here. So, I’ll actually advise number one: to study hard.: You know, medicine needs somebody to study very hard in the primary, then level, then A-level, and then to the college.  Yeah, to the university to study very hard so that you can finish and to have knowledge.Yeah, that’s number one. To have a passion. Yeah, because sometimes medicine or being a doctor is challenging but also rewarding.

And then you have to work hard. And then you have to dedicate yourself, dedication to the career and then you have to put all your life in that career. So, because medicine sometimes will require you to work overnights, sometimes you don’t sleep. Yes, 24-hour shifts, sometimes 48, sometimes more than that. So you have to be determined.

You have to be passionate. You have to be ready to listen and learn.

And medicine, it actually is a continuous process. Every day, people are doing research, people are developing new guidelines. So you have to be ongoing reading and reading and reading.

For you? What advice would I give inspiring architects?

Architect Russell: I think four things. It’s a very dynamic field. So you’ve got to be. You got to wear several hats. Okay? Like, it’s science. It’s an art. You’ve got to be creative. You’ve got to be technical. Going to with a lot of people. You got to manage your time. So you got to do a lot of things. You’re going to be good on the computer. Got to be able to communicate your ideas across easily using whatever medium you want. You got to be creative, make models and stuff, but you can also understand the engineering and technical side of it, practicality. So it’s a lot of different things. Okay, but I suppose it never gets boring though. So that’s the first thing.

Second thing would be you’re can be open to ideas, get advice, ideas from other people. I get ideas from other people, like my boss does, gives me loads of ideas. Even other people in the office, even tell your friends about your design, that might give you ideas that you can’t just stick to your idea and then think it’s never going to be right. Half the time you’re going to two minds are better than one free minds better than one.

Dr. Msangy: You might be going down this road and might think, “Oh, I’ve just drawn something. It looks fantastic,” but you to you might be okay, but you might look at it for two months and think it’s great, but then someone might just look at it and tell you it’s best right away.So you’ve got to be open to criticism.

I kind of mentioned it; you have to be creative and technical. Mm.So bear that in mind. So when you’re at school and stuff, even to get into university, you have to choose subjects that are a bit creative and a bit technical. So like technical would be like maths and physics. But then you have to show that you’ve done something creative like art or design or communication graphics. So you’ve got to show that even before you get to university, you’ve got to prove that. Okay, it goes on throughout the career. So you got to have those two things.

And then lastly, embrace collaboration. You’ve got to work with other people. I find this difficult because I like to do a lot of things myself, but don’t be afraid. If you got another architect to work with and collaborate, then you get better ideas. Like I was saying, embrace working with other people. So those four things you’ve got to bear in mind if you want to become an architect

And finally, icing on the cake, you got to like it. You’ve got to enjoy it. Otherwise, you’ll never get by. You got to be passionate, as you said.

A quote from Norman Foster, like one of the most famous architects in the world. He just said, 

“Do you really, really want to do it?”




6. Can you describe the role of technology in modern architecture or medicine and how has it impacted clients or patients?


Architect Russell: So for me software, Building Information Modeling (BIM) that’s made everything easier and quicker and streamline the process, made everything more accurate. BIM is when you model the building in 3D and it’s objects that they’re real objects, like even though in 3D, insert a wall every day, you’re not just drawing a dumb object, you’re creating a 3D model of the building and you’re inserting a door. And the door has, how big it is. Okay, well, the material of it is, how many there are in the building. A wall showing what it’s made of, how thick it is, and the volume of it. It’ll all be inside this digital model. Then you can pull out all the information. We never had this like 15 years ago. So that’s improved. Everything about communicating to the client, communicating to the contractor Can price everything. So everything… that’s pretty standard in the industry now. And also, software allows you to create different shapes and geometry and algorithms and all these different software doing Zaha Hadid stuff, crazy stuff which you don’t get in Tanzania allows architects to be more creative and then these funny geometric shapes and those kind of things, twisting and repetition. 

And so that’s improved a lot and it allows you to communicate to the client. And you’ve got VR and stuff. Now the next one’s going to be artificial intelligence, making designs more efficient. A lot of these digital processes on the computer will be the simple tasks will be obsolete. Now, humans won’t have to do that. Say repetitive tasks will be done by AI in the future. AI’s helping with ideas, coming up with ideas. I’m using it now. You describe a building you want and they’ll give you an image of it and then you kind of use that and then you develop that. You’re able to communicate with clients and people as well. Chat GPT. Now, if you’ve got a question, you can… that’s quite normal nowadays. And then sustainability as well. Technology mostly. It’s been software for me, as an architect because software is the key in the office. So software allowed sustainability to be more streamlined. You can do a model of the building, how much energy it’s going to produce, shading, if it’s going to get cool or hot, you can do all that now. So that’s helped streamline the sustainability that’s been pushing around the world to protect the environment. Then lastly, the construction as well. Technology during construction, there’s stuff like 3D printing and robotics on site building the building automatically. This helps speed the process of construction and makes it cheaper as well. 

So all this technology is helping communicate with the client, like VR helmet and stuff like that. You can communicate to the client and threat and shapes and break the boundaries of shapes during design. And then construction is more speeding up the process and making it cheaper to build. Okay, so how about you Msangi? Can you describe the role of technology in modern medicine and how it’s impacted the patients?

Architect Russell: Can you describe the role of technology in modern medicine and how it’s impacted the patients?

Dr. Msangy: In technology and advancement in technology, it has impacted positively towards patient care in four aspects. Number one, in terms of diagnostics. You know, previously we used to treat patients just by history. I just ask you, and then I do physical examination and then my knowledge will tell me Russell is sick of a certain disease just by knowledge. But nowadays, because of the advancement of technology, I can do investigations, diagnostic investigations so that I can confirm what I was thinking, if it is true or not. Okay, so nowadays we have this advancement in technology that will help us to know if I think you have mass or a tumor in your chest. Okay, I can do a CT scan and then see, this can come and then say this is a tumor, and then I’ll take you to interventional Radiology. I will go there and pick a sample from that mass and go to the laboratory and do investigation to say this is a tumor. Is it malignant or benign? If it is malignant, what kind of malignant? So we go up to there because of this advancement. So in terms of diagnostics, the technology has done wonders in the medical field.

So, in terms of diagnostic. Diagnostic means to help the doctor, to know the diagnostic, what disease the patient is suffering from. Well, this patient is suffering from one, that’s number one. But number two, to treat. I have already established the diagnosis. This patient is sick of this. Now, that this diagnosis will help me to treat this patient. Technology has helped us, as doctors, to treat properly. Because nowadays you can even do a heart transplant, a transplant, the heart, and that patient will continue to live. What about the brain? That’s a question. But we have heart transplants, kidney transplants, very common now in Tanzania. We can imagine now in Tanzania, we do kidney transplants. But also, you can have liver transplants. You can have lung transplants in Tanzania, not in kidney. You can transplant kidneys. Kidneys fail end stage, then somebody who is your relative can donate. And then you can continue with your life. 

Architect Russell: What other transplants can they do in Tanzania? In Tanzania? No. Only that – kidney. Is it possible to do a brain transplant? Can we just swap brains? Architect and Doctor. 

Dr. Msangy:Another possibility for scientists. Yes. Scientists can investigate and can do research, and maybe something like that can happen. You know, so advancement in technology, it can. 

Architect Russell: So it’s a brain transplant possible?

Dr. Msangy: It’s not possible. No, no, not yet. Not yet. But heart transplant, lung transplant, liver transplant, kidney transplant, all that can be done. You see, that’s advancement.

But also software. Now, we can put our records, put them in the computer. Everything is recorded. Next time you come, I can trace Russell, come to me, what was the problem? And they can use that information to treat you more.

Architect Russell: You don’t spend much time on the computer, do you? The doctors, do you think?

Dr. Msangy: Yes, but nowadays, if you don’t spend much time on a computer, you cannot do anything because everything is in a computer nowadays.

Architect Russell: But, you don’t need software, you use is pretty basic.


7. How does sustainable design affect your role at work? And what impact does it have on the communities?


Architect Russell: Sustainability is a hot topic. So for me, sustainability is not just saving energy, it’s health and well-being. It’s also saving water and efficiency. So saving money. So sustainability is a big aspect in my job nowadays. Governments are always pushing to save energy, to look after the health and well-being of people. Efficiencies. Efficiency is a big one. I mentioned before in the work, Tanzania. So saving energy, shade, those kinds of things. Water, there are loads of ways to improve water. I know I just touched on this stuff briefly. Collecting rainwater, having efficient tap fittings and shower fittings so the water doesn’t run fast enough.

Health and well-being of people is like natural ventilation, but nice daylight and views, and filters on the air con. I see. Okay, make sure every occupied space has fresh air. I went into a hospital here. There’s a doctor in one of the rooms. It didn’t even have a window. It just had air conditioning and no fresh air. I said to him, “This is unhealthy. You’re a doctor in this room. 

Dr. Msangy: That can be risky. If a patient with TB, tuberculosis, is in this room, that patient can infect.”

Architect Russell: So that’s just touched on health and well-being and then efficiency. Oh my God. Here always pushes for efficiency. So you don’t have any wasted space in the building. Basically, it’s all being used. You don’t want any wasted space. Like if you’re doing an office or something, you have a rentable space. So the non-rentable space is as small as possible, that makes it efficient. Or if you were using materials, you don’t want to use something too expensive. You can have an alternative. You kind of just… what’s efficient and what’s practical. Basically saying all those things for me is sustainability. Sustainability. Okay, that’s very good. Yeah. But you must have ways of saving energy at work or saving water or your health will be in there, you’re a doctor. How do you make things more efficient? How do you work more efficiently? How do you save water at work? Do you think that these things on the…?

Dr. Msangy: Well, actually, in our practice, especially in Africa, we really care, we really consider. Well, we can help this patient because here, most of the patients are poor. Even in our training, we are trained to do everything with efficiency in a way that we can help this patient. Because most of them are paying from their own pockets, even if their insurance is paying. Efficiency is a really big thing. Yes, especially in this country. Even if a patient has insurance, insurance can be traumatized if you misuse. So everything that we do, we are very conscious. We are very conscious. Is this really need to be done now? And think about not just the patient’s money, but also the bills of the hospital, like electricity and everything. But even though we are in the clinical part, we have other people who deal with the administration and management of the hospital. They are doing their job. They push me.


Sometimes they push us. But not much. But they do their work. But for us, our concern is about the patient. We don’t have to spend much for the patient, for th… maybe investigations or polypharmacy. The thing which you call it polypharmacy, the doctor is prescribing. Maybe ten different medications. Then some of them they are not necessary to be given to the patient. 

So we ethically, it’s not it’s not good. We are very sensitive about that. We are very concerned about that. But also about water. About water in Africa, not much. People are not concerned about water conservation. But in some places, they are very. Especially in private hospitals. 

Architect Russell” You see many sustainable features in your hospitals, like open courtyards, garden, people walk around or..? 

Dr. Msangy: These, let’s say, from current ones that new build here. I think most of them they observe. Muhimbili Mloganzila Hospital, which is a new. It’s not very new but this is a modern hospital, very well built. And we have these private rooms that are very big ventilated and they have very good windows, big windows and very nice furniture and everything. So even the patients are enjoying. So we are trying, especially in Africa and Tanzania, we are trying to observe the sustainability issues. And I can say we are basically trying our best. Recycling? You come across recycling? Recycling in Africa is very minimal. Very minimal. Yeah. We are trying to do but very minimal. Most of them we don’t do recycling, especially in the medical field. Not much.


8. How do you stay up to date with all the advancements and trends in the fields?


Dr. Msangy: A doctor should always be updated. That’s number one. That’s a key. If you want to become a good doctor, you have to be updated every day. You have to read, go to the internet, go to seminars, workshops. A lot of stuff. So number one is update because the way I treat you with malaria today is different from the way another doctor will treat you about the same malaria after one year or six years. Yes, yes. So that advances. Advances. Yes. The way I treat a patient with heart failure today will be different from after six months or maybe one year. What about erectile dysfunction? Does that advance treatment? Yes, every day, people. The good thing about medicine is that scientists are busy working, doing research, finding new ideas, and advancements in technology. I didn’t realize. It’s different. It’s something that is not stagnant, something that keeps on changing every day. Does that knowledge get passed around the world quickly? Nowadays, the good thing is we have the internet, so people are doing research in medicine. Everything should be done according to research. And after research, you make sure it’s up to date. And then you make sure you publish so that a person in South Africa should see, a person in Brazil will see. Publish. You publish in the recognized platforms. 

But you can’t do that with every single patient. Standard of treatment, patient care, let’s say, diabetes mellitus or malaria or pneumonia. So if I go to the internet and then I want to know what is new and then I see Dr. Russell has done this research and this where the results and this where the conclusion from the evidence that Dr. Russell did it. Then I can say, oh, okay. So instead of giving this medication, I can give these in this dose, for this time, you know. From the research that was done, you see. So that’s how medicine is evolving. Every day. We have like more than 10,000 diseases in the world. So I need to know because every time the patient will come to me with a new disease. And every patient is unique. Patient X presenting with malaria is different from patient Y presenting with the same malaria. So if I just cram patient Y with malaria presenting with this present X, I will not be able to treat. So different presentation of the same disease. But every patient is unique. So that’s what I can tell for now.:How do you keep up with your technology?

Architect Russell: You probably have a similar thing I have to do, CPD, which stands for Continued Professional Development. Yes, do online, submit them a certain amount every year. I think it’s 35 hours, half of which has to be ‘structured,’ which means formal lecture or being taught formally, and half of it can be your own research. So you have to do at least that every year. So ‘structured’ Continued Professional Development, stuff like, they have official videos online you can watch now. Yeah, you can watch that. They educate you on the technologies and what’s out there or ways of designing and things like that. Oh, you can go to official lectures from manufacturers and other architects and stuff. That will count towards ‘structured.’ Being taught something in your field. So you should do that every year. Yes. Or there is casual stuff, ‘non-structured’ CPD, which is just reading, watching like a documentary or something. Yes. Reading Architectural Journal. Yeah. I like to… My favorite is going to visit buildings in different countries. I like to do that. Yes, very good. That’s my favorite. Talking to other architects or people in your field about different ways of designing or different buildings, what projects have been done, those kinds of things. Mhm. So yeah, that’s how I try to keep up to date. You have to keep up to date with technology basically. Next question. Question about balance of creativity.


9. So does your field require creativity and how do you balance between creativity and practicality?


Architect Russell: I had a doctor tell me, I had two doctors. One told me, there’s a lot of creativity being a doctor. And another doctor told me there is zero creativity in being a doctor. Zero in being a doctor?

Dr. Msangy: In medicine, sometimes you need to be creative.

Architect Russell: Really? 

Dr. Msangy: Yes. There’s this saying, “A disease does not read a book” or “A Patient does not read a book.” Sometimes you have to use your knowledge from a book, but you have to provide that knowledge to a specific patient. Like what I say, every patient is unique. So basically sometimes you need to be creative. There are some things that are not written in the book, and you can say, okay, from my knowledge, I think this one should be one, two, three, four. You have to be creative. So some of the things that the research is not yet done, but you can use your creativity. Say, okay, this patient, I want to save this patient. I don’t read the book. The books are this, but for this patient, I do this. And then you save that patient. But you have to be careful because if you do something that is a blunder or a mistake, you can kill the patient. So you have to use your creativity, but make sure you are 100% sure that this one is going to help this patient. But mostly in 95%. We have to work according to guidelines. The research is already. So you have to work according to guidelines. But sometimes you have to be creative. That’s interesting.

Architect Russell: I think for you, creativity has a great impact. See, when you are at university, it’s all about creativity. But when you work, it’s more about practicality. Unless you work for some big fancy architecture firm, you have the privilege or money to extricate on these fancy designs. But like that’s rarely the case. I think generally, architecture is practical, especially in developing countries for sure. So I think it boils down to working with the client because the client’s spending the money. So if you have regular meetings with the client and show your design every week or every few days to communicate with a client, then he can understand like, oh shit, that’s going to cost too much. I don’t do that, and I can’t do that stuff. 

You also get like a Quantity Surveyor who consults, usually in a project. Quantity Surveyor? Yeah, he quantifies the design. So you give him your drawings, and he measures everything. Has a rough idea how much it’s going to cost. So even if you just sketch a thousand square meters in a building, he’ll just do a rough calculation. A thousand square meters, it’s roughly like a hundred dollars per square meter to build in that area. So that’s going to cost that much to build. You’ve got to make the building smaller. So then you make the building smaller, then you put more detail on the drawing. You draw it like that, and you have windows. There’s all your windows. He’ll measure the windows. He’ll tell you, “Oh, the windows are too big, make them smaller.” Oh, I don’t really work with the QS, but like, Quantity Surveying? Yeah. I see that in Tanzania the Architects Registration Board is shared with the Quantity Surveyor. Okay, so the Quantity Surveyor and Architects Registration Board. Okay. Oh. Which is quite interesting. So yeah, basically working with the consultants, working with the client to find that balance, really. One thing I’ve learned from university and my career, from your earliest sketch, when you start designing, get as many people on board as you can from the very early stages. So, as soon as you even draw a little sketch, if you can get the builder involved, all the engineers involved, everybody involved to contribute in design, usually that boils down to the success of the project. The earlier you get the consultants, the whole team involved in the project from the early stages, the most successful the project is. Because you get input from everybody from the early stages. That’s how important it is to work with other people on the project.


10. How does collaboration with other professionals contribute to the success of your work?


Dr. Msangy: I work with different professions. A lot. And other professions. Like an architect.

Architect Russell: Oh yes, yes.

Dr. Msangy: Number two, know, medical service is not for free. I need to operate. I need to continue buying medicines. I need to pay staff, an accountant. That’s another profession that I need.

Architect Russell: You know, I also need even a lawyer. Yeah.

Dr. Msangy: Oh, yes.

Architect Russell: I was thinking more people like other doctors. But what about people inside your hospital? That kind of people? Do you help each other at work and collaborate together? They have to collaborate. Because how does it work? I’ve seen like, a student come in and see me when they go out, and then 15 minutes later, they all come in and they discuss stuff.

Dr. Msangy: Doctors discuss a patient. How does that work?In medicine, we are. We call it Transformation of Knowledge. I’m a doctor. They then have like ten, ten years experience. I should transform this knowledge and experience and the skills to a younger one, junior one. So I don’t know. Sometimes patients come there, they don’t want to be touched or seen by a student. And that’s because I need to transform my knowledge to this. If you don’t allow this patient, this student, to learn, if after five years I’m not there, who’s going to treat you? These students should be given time and opportunity to learn.

Architect Russell: : I quite enjoyed being seen by a student when I was in the hospital.

Architect Russell: Yes. It should be like that. But some patients, they don’t like it. They don’t like it. I remember they came in cause I had appendix… And she came in and she’s touching…

Architect Russell: And then she was thinking…Thinking and then she walked out.Oh. And then in 10 minutes, they all came in, the doctor and many others. Yes.

Dr. Msangy: Because if you are sick and then a doctor comes there, if the doctor says you have to remove your clothes, you have to remove it.

Architect Russell: You have to remove it.

Dr. Msangy: Yes. Even a president will come to me and then tell, “President, you have to remove all the clothes.: He’s going to remove. That’s the power of a doctor.

Architect Russell: Right.



📐Russell M. Henderson is a practicing RIBA Chartered Architect based in Tanzania, East Africa.

🎥Russell (Architect Russell) also makes videos on YouTube , TikTok  Instagram & Skillshare  sharing thoughtful, honest and pragmatic knowledge while working and living abroad.

Architect Russell Uncensored is podcast talking about an architect’s life unfiltered. The education of 7 years to controversial topics such as RIBA and ARB, to unusual architect experience abroad like in Bangkok and Tanzania. This is content never before released on any platform and you can only get it here first. The truth through the eyes of Architect Russell, unfiltered and uncensored.

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